NAMM 2023: Sony's new open-back MDR-MV1 headphones could well be your entry point into the futuristic world of 3D spatial audio. And they have a frequency range that even your dog would be happy with.
This year's NAMM show is hosting all sorts of panel discussions about the worlds of immersive, spatial, surround or 3D audio. Call it what you will, but it's definitely a music production trend that is causing a buzz, and Sony is embracing it with its latest headphones, the MDR-MV1.
These open-back headphones have those interested in spatial audio and professional sound engineers as target audiences. Sony says they are equally at home providing precision stereo as they are for mixing in 360 Reality Audio (crikey, yet another name for surround sound).
The headphones' open-back design means they should already offer a wider field of listening compared to a closed-back equivalent. However, the frequency response of 5Hz to 80kHz shows just how far these phones aim to go beyond typical sound reproduction (that more than covers both human and dog hearing). That range, Sony says, "makes it easier for professionals to capture localization, spaciousness and detailed changes in sound processing".
The headphones certainly offer an increased spec, then, and Sony has designed them to be comfortable, with breathable, lightweight and soft ear pads. However, while these features would suggest that they'll be suitable for enjoying immersive audio, they do appear to be just a standard set of 'phones, albeit with that great spec.
Still, they are attuned to work with Sony's 'just-announced' 360 Virtual Mixing Environment (360VME), "a service that allows creators to reproduce the sound field environment of a reference studio – from virtually anywhere", which sounds like it deserves a feature in itself. Watch this space.